The Batchelder Award is given to the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States.
Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, for The Murderer’s Ape, written and illustrated by Jakob Wegelius, translated from the Swedish by Peter Graves.
The title was originally published in Sweden in 2014 as “Mördarens Apa.” When the sea captain she works with is wrongly convicted of murder, Sally Jones, a gorilla who can read, write, and understand humans, embarks on a lengthy adventure to clear the captain’s name. Writing on a typewriter, she narrates the story of her journey from Portugal to India and back again.
“Sally Jones is a sentient, intelligent, empathic, talented engineer who is also a gorilla. Publishing her compelling story was a bold undertaking quite masterfully executed,”said Batchelder Award Committee Chair Elizabeth A. Poe.
2018 Honor Books
Charlesbridge for Malala: Activist for Girls’ Education, written by Raphaële Frier, illustrated by Aurélia Fronty, and translated from the French by Julie Cormier
Originally published in France in 2015 as “Malala: pur le droit des filles à l’éducation, this engaging picture book biography, richly detailed text and illustrations, along with extensive back matter, bring the story of world-famous Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai to readers. Beginning with her birth, the story details her early family life and how it contributed to her becoming a global advocate for social justice.
“The author’s clear, direct writing includes details about life in Pakistan, conservative Islamic beliefs about women and quotations from Malala Yousafzai’s inspirational speeches and blogs,”said Poe.
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, for When a Wolf Is Hungry, written by Christine Naumann-Villemin, illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo and translated from the French by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
The title was originally published in France in 2011 as “Quand le loup a faim.” Edmond Bigsnout, a dapper and hungry wolf, heads out in search of a city bunny to eat. The wolf’s quest for a tasty dinner is thwarted by the bunny’s fellow apartment dwellers, thereby leading to a happy ending where politeness and accommodation prevail.
“Using humor and irony, this clever turn-of-events story shows the importance of community and sharing in a way that is highly entertaining,” said Poe.
Elsewhere Editions for You Can’t Be Too Careful! written and illustrated by Roger Mello, and translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn.
The title was originally published in Brazil in 1999 as “Todo cuidado é pouco!.” Author and artist Roger Mello has created a fantastical tale that invites readers to engage their imaginations in following the fate of a chain of characters. Readers’ expectations are upended when the narrative reverses itself and links between the characters become evident.
“Surreal illustrations perfectly augment the seemingly rambling, but logically linked vignettes that celebrate the versatility of storytelling and explore the nature of connectivity,” said Poe.
Members of the 2018 Batchelder Award Committee are: Elizabeth A. Poe, Morgantown, W.V.; Carolyn R. Angus, Mountain View, Calif.; Mary Beth Dunhouse, Boston; Jacqueline J.Partch,Multnomah County Library, Portland, Ore.; and Kathie L. Weinberg, An Open Book Foundation, Washington, D.C.